Oasis fans were left in shock in April 2022 when former guitarist Bonehead announced he had been diagnosed with tonsil cancer.
The 57-year-old, whose actual name is Paul Arthurs, was a founding member of the nineties rock band, which was fronted by Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher.
Tonsil cancer is a form of head and neck cancer that can be caused by excessive smoking and/or drinking, as well as a human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.
So, what is the latest on Bonehead’s condition - and what has Liam Gallagher said about his bandmate? Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Bonehead?
Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs had a band known as The Rain, which was joined by the Gallagher brothers in 1991. The group soon changed their name to Oasis after Noel Gallagher was inspired by an Inspiral Carpets tour poster that listed a date at Swindon’s Oasis Leisure Centre.
After a rapid rise to success that included a string of number one hits like ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and ‘All Around The World’, Arthurs left the band in 1999 to spend more time with his family.
However, he has continued to have a creative partnership with Liam Gallagher in the years since Oasis split up in 2009. Bonehead featured as a guitarist in short-lived Oasis successor Beady Eye and has performed with Liam Gallagher on his solo tours.
What happened to Bonehead?
In April 2022, Bonehead revealed he would not be appearing on Liam Gallagher’s solo tour as planned because of tonsil cancer. The diagnosis required the musician to have an operation.
In a post on Twitter, Paul Arthurs said he would be “taking a break from playing for a while” but sounded an optimistic note as he said the cancer was “treatable”.
Arthurs added that he would be undergoing treatment “soon” and wished Liam Gallagher well for his tour, which included dates at Knebworth where Oasis held some of the most famous gigs in UK music history.
Gallagher, who has himself had health issues due to an arthritic hip, wished his friend a “speedy recovery”.
What has Bonehead said about cancer?
On Thursday (29 September), Bonehead told his 140,000 Twitter followers that he was cancer free. In a brief statement, he thanked The Christie - an NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester that is the largest cancer treatment site in Europe.
“Update on my cancer; I had a full scan 10 days ago and it’s all clear, it’s gone,” Arthurs said.
“Thank you so much all of you for the messages I’ve had throughout, you’ve helped more than you know. Thank you especially to the team at @TheChristieNHS, into recovery now and see you all soon x.”
What did Liam Gallagher say about Bonehead?
Responding to his bandmate and friend’s good news, Liam Gallagher tweeted: “YES BONEHEAD WE KNEW YOUD KICK ITS ARSE SOOOOO FUCKING HAPPY GUINNESS LG x.”
Oasis’s former bassist Andy Bell, who joined the group after Paul Arthurs’ departure, said his ‘all clear’ announcement was “amazing news”.
What are the symptoms of tonsil cancer?
Tonsil cancers - most of which are known as squamous cell carcinoma, although a small number are lymphomas - attacks the glands that stop harmful germs getting into the body through the mouth and nose.
- sore throat
- ear pain
- painless lump in the neck
- difficulty swallowing
If you are concerned you may have tonsil cancer, you should contact your GP immediately. They will look for signs of the problem at the back of your throat, and will also check your neck for swollen lymph nodes.
- chemotherapy with radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy)
- targeted and immunotherapy drugs
It is unclear what form of treatment Bonehead underwent after his tonsil cancer diagnosis.